Various - Made In America DVD
Following recent tabloid tattle involving global mega-star Jay-Z, the DVD release of Ron Howard's film Made in America is timely in that it pulls focus from lift altercations and instead highlights Shawn Carter's achievements as a musician and businessman; specifically, in the case of this documentary, the development and realisation of the rap star's Made In America festival. Overseeing prep through to 2012's first weekender, the film might not be successful at amounting to much more than the sum of its parts (despite discussions of Philadelphia's economic struggles reaching for some higher cultural statement) but it should definitely hold the attention of any music fan.
Inevitably, Jay-Z is a prominent talking head throughout, briefing the festival's ethos and discussing his own incredible journey, but director Howard is not only concerned with the main man and his 2012 lineup, taking time to interview food vendors alongside the likes of Rita Ora. The music is tilted slightly in favour of the urban acts but, reflecting Jay-Z's proven eclecticism, live footage also takes in rock (Pearl Jam), dance (Skrillex), indie-pop (Passion Pit) and genre-defying acts like Dirty Projectors. Highlights include Janelle Monae and The Hives bringing their unique showmanship to the Philly stage, but the live performances are generally snippets interspersed with backstage interviews. Ultimately, more music would have been appreciated as it comes off feeling like an extended ad for the fest, now in its third year, but intentions are good across the board.